That We Might Have Joy: Olivia's Story

On August 10th, 2016, Matt and I found out we were pregnant with our second child. I was just over 5 weeks, and I had so many different emotions. Excitement, fear, feeling overwhelmed. This child was planned unlike our first, Blakely. She was a complete surprise three months after being married. We had just started trying, and we were not expecting it to happen so quickly. But it did, and we were overjoyed. Matt was a little more excited than me, because the baby was scheduled to be due in April 2017, right in the middle of my last semester and during finals. So I was really overwhelmed. But nevertheless, we were both excited. This pregnancy was automatically different than my first. Blakely made me miserable-- morning sickness the entire time, heartburn, four UTI’s, a kidney infection. BLAH! I was not happy. But this baby, I could eat whatever I wanted, I felt great, I had tons of energy. Also with this baby, we told everyone! The only people we told last time was our family. This time we told family, Blakely, close friends, not so close friends, people at the grocery store. Seriously, we told everyone and anyone who would listen that we were having a baby. We practically shouted it from the rooftops!  We were so excited.

August 30, 2016 was our 3rd wedding anniversary. It was also the day we lost our baby. Yes, you read that right. We lost our baby on our anniversary. The day that we were supposed to celebrate us and our family. The beginning of the happiest days of our lives. Instead, I went to the doctor by myself, because Matt was in school. And we celebrated crying together on our floor. Not how we planned spending the day.

When it happened, I was in shock. I went through the process. I had a million thoughts running through my head. It went like this:

“You know this happens a lot, it’s okay, everything will be okay, I have to to Matt, I have to tell my parents, I have a lot of people to tell…”

Then I looked down at my beautiful almost 2-year old and thought, I have to tell her. In the coming weeks, Blakely was so excited. She was always asking about the baby, she would talk to it every morning, and sing to it, and give my belly kisses. And in that split second moment, the thought of telling my daughter that there was no more baby terrified me more than public speaking (and for those that know me, know what a big deal that is). That’s when I lost it. That’s when I started crying, and I never stopped.

I have struggled with depression my entire life. When I got pregnant with Blakely, I was fully aware of the possibility of getting Postpartum Depression after I had her. And I did get it, not in the way I thought I would, but it was a struggle. So after this devastating event that shook me to my core, I had no idea how I was going to cope. I was so scared of how low I was going to feel. I was angry. I thought, I am a good mom. I am faithful. I follow all the rules. I didn't do anything wrong. There are so many women, women I know, who smoke, drink, and do drugs while being pregnant, and they end up with perfectly healthy babies. Why did this have to happen to me? I did everything right. It’s not fair. 

I went through every single detail of the past eight weeks trying to make sense of it and find some reason why it happened. I would constantly go up to Matt and say, "I think it happened because of this." And bless his heart, no matter how many times I said things like that, he always came back with the same answer, “Olivia, this was not your fault.”

I struggled for a long time, and I am still struggling, but I think something finally hit me. I started looking at my trials like they were blessings. This is very hard, especially when you suffer from depression. I thought why did this have to happen on our anniversary? And then the answer came to me-- Heavenly Father knows each of us, and he knows that my memory is not always the greatest, and he also knows that this is a day I would always want to remember, so he put it on a day that I would never forget, our anniversary. As soon as that answer came, others started to fill my mind. Maybe this was a blessing, in the oddest sense of the word. Before I would have to worry about my finals and having a baby, now Heavenly Father made sure I was going to be able to focus on my school, because He knows how hard I have worked for this. We got pregnant so fast, and others it takes months. We already had Blakely, and I think it would have been harder had we not had any children yet. There were so many blessings surrounding this tragic event that, after I started thinking of them, it was easier to cope with it.

The last blessing that came from our miscarriage was when we had to tell Blakely. This didn't happen until a few weeks after we lost the baby. After it happened, she didn't ask about the baby, which I took as a blessing, because I had no idea what to say. But one day, I was buckling her in her carseat, and she looked up at me and said, “ Mommy has baby in belly.” It took everything in me not to cry, and I said a silent prayer, the first one I said in a long time, asking Heavenly Father to give me the strength to tell her so she understands. And to this day, I still don't know how I came up with this answer, but I said, “Honey, the baby isn't in mommy’s belly anymore. We won't get to see the baby for a long time. The baby knows we love it, and it will be waiting for us, until we get to see it again. But for now, we have to wait. Do you understand?” And like a little child submissive to her parents, she said, “Okay mommy.”

I believe in the plan of salvation, and I KNOW that I will see my baby again. The hardest part is knowing that I won't get to hold him or her for a long time, and that this child won’t know how loved they are on this earth. I won't get to tell them how much they mean to me, and I can’t hold them for a very long time. But I believe that when I see my child again, I will know them, and they will know me. Through the love of Christ, I know that this possible.

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